Crunchy, fresh lettuce; ripe, red tomatoes; dark, green cucumbers; topped with goat cheese, red onions and chopped dates; drizzled with olive oil and some…sunnah dressing? That’s how you make a scrumptious, sunnah salad.
SubhanAllah, the deeper I study Islam, the more I realize how easy it is. The fact that I could simply set my intention and turn everyday activities into acts of worship is just amazing. We could transform our every meal into a form of worship. Ever notice all the foods mentioned in the Qur’an and sunnah? These foods definitely weren’t mentioned by accident. It requires no extra effort if you just redirect your intention, every action and every bite you take can translate into an act of worship! Olives, onions, dates; these are all foods that are incorporated within the Quran and sunnah just to name a few. If I could make my own nutrition labels for these foods, right under ‘calories from fat’, I would add ‘good deeds from sunnah.’ Why would you not want to incorporate these foods into your daily lives? Not only can you be blessed, inshaAllah, with reward for adhering to the Qur’an and practices of the Prophet (pbuh), but also with all the tremendous health benefits of these foods.
So I’ve got my day job and my night job: civil engineer by day; health and fitness guru by night. Sometimes they overlap. Here’s the engineering nerd in me about to come out: so as civil engineers, we deal a lot with the soil that’s underneath everything we want to build. The more I learned about the characteristics of soils, clays, and sands the more I understood the human body. We were all created from clay, and I don’t want to get too nerdy here, but if we came from the earth, wouldn’t it make sense that the place to get our nourishment would be from, well… the earth. In a society where manufactured and processed foods are the norm, it has become more and more challenging to eat healthier foods...you know, the kind that grow from the earth! This stigma surrounding salads and vegetables has gotten the majority of people thinking that anything healthy can’t taste good! Wrong! How could a chemically processed, mystery meat concoction is more appealing to us that a balanced salad, filled with food items the Prophet (pbuh) himself used to eat?!
From a larger perspective, health is a part of our deen. Allah gave our bodies to us. We are entrusted with our bodies, and only we can control what we do to them. No one is holding up french fries and candy bars and forcing us to eat them. No matter what’s served in front of us, at the end of the day, we’re the ones who control what our hand picks up to place in our mouths. We are eating way too much and our food selections, simply said, aren’t the best. It’s time to take drastic action before we further harm our bodies and teach our younger generations the same unhealthy eating habits. So what do we do?!
Here we are almost a month after we’ve established our new year’s resolutions. I can almost bet that if you’re a female (and perhaps the occasional guy), ‘losing weight’ or ‘working out’ were probably up there on your list. Whether you’ve lost sight of these goals or you’re still continuing strong, I hope this has rejuvenated you or opened your eyes to a new way of looking at being healthy.
For you ladies out there, there’s an organization aimed at women’s health and fitness with an interesting incorporation of Quran and sunnah. I recommend all to check it out because it really makes eating healthy and staying fit fun and easy! Check out www.Nadoona.com and get started on a healthier path in life.
Sunnah salad for dinner anyone?
Muslim Youth For Truth Contributor
P.S. Here’s some tips to help you get started:
1) Water water water. Drink lots of water before you decide you need a big huge plate full of food to satisfy yourself. The part of your brain that tells you you're hungry is conveniently the same one that tells you you're thirsty. Sometimes your body is just telling you it’s super thirsty, not super hungry!
2) Take it slow! It takes 15-20 mins for your tummy to tell your brain that you're full. Try not pile up your plate, fully chew all your bites, and give your body time to process what's going on before you jump right into seconds.
3) Soda is NOT a staple! Try some icie cold water or FRESHLY squeezed fruit juice please. High in phosphorous and phosphoric acid, soft drinks infiltrate bodily fluids and corrode stomach linings, upset the alkaline-acid balance of the kidneys, and eat away at your liver like Hannibal Lecter. Is that really want going into the 1 body you own?
4) Vitamins- you should take a multivitamin once a day. What kind, or which brand you ask? The multivitamin of the Prophet (pbuh)! They contain natural fibres, proteins, oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium. Have you guessed it yet? yep dates, eat one :) Sorry Centrum, the Quran beat you to it.
5) BREAKFAST! Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast. The most neglected meal of the day. Most common excuses for not eating breakfast are “I’m not hungry” or “I have no time.” You haven’t eaten for 8 hours! How are you not hungry?! I don’t care if you’re ‘not hungry,’ after 8 hours, you need to eat! Time an issue? Try preparing something the night before. I boil my eggs the night before so in the morning all I need to do is peel, heat a little, and enjoy. I think it’s worth the extra 5 minutes in the morning! Ladies! Women who eat breakfast burn 300 calories more in a day than women who don’t…do it!